Change is afoot for a select few in the Cayman Islands.
And The Observer on Sunday wishes it could be for more.
We’re talking about scholarships for the United World Colleges.
Each year fund-raising efforts are made to bolster the coffers of the United World Colleges Cayman Islands Scholarship programme.
This year, with the help of a significant boost from the Dr. Philip Pedley Memorial Award – in honour of the former chair of the colleges’ local board who passed away in May 2010 – and start-up money from attorney and former board director Colin Shaw, matching funds from alumnus Linburgh Martin and a significant donation from the AALL Foundation charitable trust, the fund had more than US$45,000 as of March to help expand the number of scholarships.
But we believe more can be done, with the community’s help.
The United World Colleges programme is unique in that it exposes our selected school leavers to the world and helps students appreciate the diversity of our planet.
Basically, it helps create well-rounded individuals.
To take it from the UWC website, “UWC schools, colleges and programmes deliver a challenging and transformative educational experience to a diverse cross section of students, inspiring them to create a more peaceful and sustainable future.”
By supporting United World Colleges programmes, donors and volunteers are giving an amazing gift.
Becoming a United World Colleges scholarship recipient is rigorous – as it should be.
Students have to write an essay, get teacher references, be involved in personal interviews and be able to debate local and international topics with other finalists.
This year 22 students applied for the scholarship, 12 were interviewed, six made the finals and three were selected.
One of the great things about the United World Colleges experience is that students get a good understanding of international peace and understanding.
Another great thing is that students bring those ideals back home with them. We believe our country would be better served if more students could avail themselves of this fantastic opportunity.